When I was first introduced to badminton, I didn’t expect to find two kinds of shuttlecocks to choose from. Well, that was and is the case, so naturally, I was curious to know what the difference is and which one I should choose.
In order to know that, you need to know the difference between the two, and that’s precisely what you will learn in this article, in addition to other differences shuttlecocks may have. Before moving on, what is the difference between feather and nylon shuttlecocks?
Feather shuttlecocks have better aerodynamics, so they have greater speed and can be shot more accurately; however, they are more expensive. Nylon shuttlecocks are more durable, will fly further, and are more affordable. Feather ones are for competitive use, and nylon ones are for recreational.
As you can see, the differences are significant but choosing the right shuttlecock should be pretty straightforward. But, for you to make a real educated pick, let’s talk more about these shuttlecocks individually so you can see which one is truly for you.
What’s The Difference Between Feather And Nylon Shuttlecock?
Generally, feather shuttlecocks are for competitive or serious use, and nylon (plastic) shuttlecocks are for casual and recreational use. That being said, take a look at the table below and what each of the features means.
|Feature||Feather Shuttlecock||Nylon Shuttlecock|
|Cost:||More Expensive||More Affordable|
- Flight is how well the shuttlecock will fly through the air after it is struck. This includes speed, trajectory, and aerodynamics. Feather shuttlecocks have better flight.
- Control is how accurately you can place your strikes with the shuttlecock. Feather shuttlecocks have excellent control, meaning they will obey your strikes better.
- Feel is how well you feel connected to the shuttlecock. Feather shuttlecocks have a better and more natural design, which often makes badminton players like the feel on them more.
- Durability is how well the shuttlecocks will endure your strikes. As feather shuttlecocks are more delicate, they last less when compared to the durable and weatherproof build of a nylon shuttlecock.
- Cost is quite obvious which means the price. Feather shuttlecocks are more expensive than nylon shuttlecocks (Are Shuttlecocks Expensive?) (Are Shuttlecocks Expensive?).
Now, let’s talk more about the shuttlecocks individually.
Feather shuttlecocks are made usually from goose or duck feathers, and there are 16 of them in each shuttlecock. They allow the shuttlecocks more natural and better aerodynamics than nylon shuttlecocks. That’s why they have a better flight trajectory, more control and accuracy, and a better feel to the game.
Real feathers make the shuttlecock more delicate and costly, which is why many recreational players choose nylon shuttlecocks, me included. However, competitive matches are always played with feather shuttlecocks.
On the other hand, Nylon shuttlecocks will last longer and are more durable, which makes the long-time costs even lower. For recreational and beginner players, the nylon shuttlecock is a far better choice.
However, due to the plastic build, they have worse aerodynamics, speed, feel, and control than feather shuttlecocks. The difference isn’t something huge, so beginner players probably won’t even notice it at first.
Below you can find my recommended shuttlecocks for each using purpose. Personally, I use nylon shuttlecocks because I play for fun even tho the games tend to take a serious turn at some point. Still, they last longer, which is something I am looking for.
- Competitive or Serious Badminton: Choose Feather Shuttlecocks.
- Casual or Cost-Efficient Badminton: Choose Nylon (Plastic) Shuttlecocks.
Are Feather Shuttlecocks Better Than Nylon Shuttlecocks?
Now that you know all the features of both shuttlecocks, we need to determine which one is the better shuttlecock?
As in general, feather shuttlecocks are better performance-wise than nylon shuttlecocks. They have better flight trajectory meaning that how well it will travel through the air, better control meaning how well it will obey your strikes accurately, and a better overall feel to the game.
However, feather shuttlecocks do have two cons as well. They are more expensive, and the durability is lesser, which increases the overall price even further. If you want to get off cheap, aren’t a serious player, and don’t want to buy new shuttlecocks constantly, then nylon ones are better for your purposes.
It all comes down to personal preferences and needs. Still, feather shuttlecocks are better when it comes to performance, and that’s precisely why only feather ones are used in competitive games and the Olympics.
Why Are Shuttlecocks Different In Color And Which Color To Choose?
You might have noticed that shuttlecocks have different cap colors that are: Red, Blue, and Green. This isn’t by accident, and they have something to do with speed and temperature. Let’s take a look at what each color means.
- Red Cap Shuttlecocks are the fastest and used below the temperature of 14°C.
- Blue Cap Shuttlecocks have moderate speed and used between the temperatures of 11-21°C.
- Green Cap Shuttlecocks are the slowest and used between the temperatures of 19-29°C
Generally, blue cap shuttlecocks are the most used because they are in the middle ground and indoor badminton courts are often below 21°C.
My Favorite Badminton Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find some badminton equipment that I love and think you could like!
- Racket: My favorite badminton racket is the Yanox Carbonex 8000 because it fits well with my controlling playstyle. This racket is made from graphite & aluminum and weighs around 85 to 90grams, so it’s medium weight and durable. I love the control and accuracy of this racket, and the design makes me want to play badminton.
- Shuttlecocks: I like to play with yellow nylon shuttlecocks because most courts I play badminton on have a light environment, and I’m not playing at a competitive level. So, I don’t want to spend insane much money on feathers shuttlecocks because they often break. That’s why Yonex Mavis 350 shuttlecocks are my absolute favorite.
- Badminton shoes: When it comes to badminton shoes, they need to have excellent support, shock absorption, and cushioning. As you can see, I’m a Yonex lover, and that’s why I play badminton with Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion Z badminton shoes!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.